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Adventures in Missing the Point: How the Culture-Controlled Church Neutered the Gospel

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  1,080 ratings  ·  70 reviews
How the Culture-Controlled Church Neutered the Gospel If you’re brave enough to take an honest look at the issues facing the culture–controlled church—and the issues in your own life—read on. Do you ever look at how the Christian faith is being lived out in the new millennium and wonder if we’re not doing what we’re supposed to be doing? That we still haven’t quite “gotten ...more
Paperback, 286 pages
Published January 29th 2006 by Zondervan (first published 2003)
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Ben Kester
Nov 16, 2017 rated it liked it
This was an assigned text in college theology, and I pulled it out again.
The authors go through several topics fairly quickly. The conversational style is easy to read.
For some of these topics, you might be familiar with the author's viewpoint and the chapter won't add much. Others might be fine conversation starters or more.
Some chapters have aged better than others. It's amazing how far we've come on homosexuality since 2006, for instance.
Sep 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion, non-fiction
I recommend this book to all of my Christian friends. It helps us reevaluate agendas and beliefs of the church to see if we have "missed the point" and how we can adjust our focus to what really matters in our relationship with God, our neighbors, and our culture. The chapters on doubt, theology, salvation, the end times, and homosexuality were especially eye opening for me. This book gives plenty to think upon and wrestle with if a believer wants to contemplate other angles in which they can vi ...more
Feb 26, 2011 rated it it was ok
Talk about a rush job! I don't think I've ever seen a published book with more typos -- not spellcheck typos, but missing words, incorrect word order and just plain weird stuff.

I don't think that the responsive format was as useful as it could be. Either an author agreed with the other and then wrote his own mini-chapter on the topic, or he disagreed and did not give very full support for his disagreement. More back and forth might have been more productive as well: give the original author a ch
Sep 24, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: christian
This book is biblically unsound in many different ways. The authors present a number of different subjects, and "rant" on their idea of how things ought to be. The book at first appears to be a great read as you begin the first few chapters, but it soon digresses into the ultra-liberal biblical doctrine which both authors seem to hold. It screams "Emergent-Church" movement as the authors attempt to persuade you to their point of view which is in most chapters to discard logical and biblical thin ...more
Justin Taylor
Oct 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
a little outdated for where I am but still a good read. I found Tony Campolo a little too conservative for my liking
Sharon Aubrey
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
The authors have some valid points; however, I wouldn't highly recommend it because I found there was a lack of depth in the biblical side of answering questions, which I would have preferred. The authors did have good food for thought on many topics with some biblical guidance, but many of the topics were discussed almost superficially. A person seeking in-depth biblical answers would need to look further in other books. I can see points in the book used as a small group study, and with the rig ...more
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Campolo and McLaren make extremely persuasive arguments why conservative evangelicals should be less conservative evangelicals. For those of us on the mainljne churches - especially Generation X or Millennial folks - this book has several cringeworthy moments, notably the discussions of homosexuality, the value of theological education, and questions of postmodernists and worship styles.

I commend both men for their theological growth and development, but they’re asking questions that people lik
Seán Mchugh
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
This was a fabulous book, however I will say the idea was executed more effectively than the content. Iif I had it my way all books that were written about any opinion that could be conceived as divisive should be written in a similar format with opposing perspectives respectfully contrasted with one another throughout the book. I can only hope that more books will be written in this vein, however to date I do not see many.
J. R.
Aug 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: pilgrim
This book deals with shortcomings in today's church practice and structure. However, I believe it is less impactful than it could be, since both authors seem to accept much of common church practice as being "just-the-way-it-is", where others (e.g. Viola/Barna _Pagan Christianity_) have a deeper and more insightful critique. There are many useful topics considered in _Adventures . . ._ that are not considered elsewhere in books I have read so far in my study.
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Really enjoyed this one. Reminded me a bit.
Jul 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ashley by: Caitlin
(forgive the stupid's 6am, and I've been up all night)

This book didn't really give out any answers.

...and for once, I dont think that was the point of the book! (how refreshing!)

Rather, it broached on numerous topics Christians (and society at large) are facing, and offered up some new ways to view them, some questions to ask yourself, and a few tidbits to toss around in your mind.

Particularly interesting were the chapters on:

Kingdom of God
The Bible
& D
Josh Welker
Nov 26, 2012 rated it liked it
This book was not quite as good as A Generous Orthodoxy, but it was a good, short read (I read it over Christmas while traveling). Co-author Tony Campolo is quite a bit more conservative than Brian McLaren and provides some very much-needed balance where McLaren tends to steer off a bit too much to the liberal side.

The thesis of the book is that most American Evangelicals are "missing the point" on most hot-button Christian issues by focusing on minor details and neglecting the big picture. The
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a hefty book dressed in casual clothes. Within each chapter there is much to be discussed, dissected and discovered. Still, the essence of this book, to me, was the opportunity to look at the practice of my faith with fresh eyes. A simultaneously liberating and terrifying opportunity.
May 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: christianity
I read McLaren's "A Generous Orthodoxy" not long ago and was glad I did, even if I found it to be too generous here and there. So when I found this book on a clearance table I thought I'd give it a try. The set-up has a lot of potential, as the authors take turns writing essays on various topics and then responding to and challenging the ideas of the other.

Occasionally there are some good insights from both authors, but there's also entirely too much personal opinion put forth as scriptural mand
Jun 30, 2008 rated it liked it
This was a book that I wanted to read for quite a while but never went out and purchased for myself. About 1 1/2 weeks ago, I was given this book as a gift and so I dived in and read. It was good, not as good as I had hoped (which made me glad that I wasn’t the one who bought it!). The format was rather simple. Two respected Christian leaders (no matter if you agree with them or not)…each wrote a number of chapters in the book and at the end of each chapter the other one gave a brief response to ...more
Jan 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology, politics
Pros: Brian McLaren and Tony Campolo addressing current issues that cripple the church with suggestions for alternative ways of belief and action.

Lots of topics. Easy to read, and one doesn't have to read it in a linear fashion because each chapter is basically self-contained.

Cons: It seemed like the authors were mostly talking past each other, or they didn't have enough room to adequately address each other's concerns. Point-counterpoint format is good, but I'd like to see it as a point-counter
Feb 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who is frustrated with "the church"
I picked this book up after hearing Tony Campolo speak at a local function. Having read almost everything else he has published in the past 30 years I was thrilled to find something NEW that was not full of the same stories.

Campolo is a great story teller-even when recycled they can make you laugh, cry and think. This book was different in that he shares the stage with Brian McLaren. I really enjoyed the differing views offered by each and discovered somethings that I didn't know about Campolo.

Jan 20, 2010 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Strong Christians seeking to test their faith, Theologians looking for bad theology
The chapter on sin, or more accurately how we should deal graciously toward others who are struggling with sin, was the best chapter of this book. The rest of the book had some very good points, but the chapters were filled with over-reactions, straw-men arguments and very biblically weak theology. I found this book to be dangerous, not for the points the authors try to make (many of them very good points), but for the way they try to make them. The foundation of their arguments was more philoso ...more
Apr 18, 2010 rated it liked it
It was an interesting take on many "important issues" that the church faces today. Quite frankly, I think many of these so-called issues are over-blown and fed as a means of encouraging conflict within memberships rather than a means of speaking truth and gospel.

That said, there were some points where I agreed wholeheartedly, and others where I wondered if the AUTHORS had missed the point. All told, however, it was good to read about subjects that often make me angry, uncomfortable or even comp
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
a worthwhile read . interesting in that one author essays a topic relevant to Christians and the other author gives a critique. sort of point-counterpoint. both authors I have respect for and both come from what I would assume to be somewhat different perspectives. interesting in that I found myself endorsing the point of view of one author and then agreeing with the counterpoint of the other. it left me feeling that so often I can entrench myself in one viewpoint without giving creedence to ano ...more
Sep 01, 2007 rated it it was ok
I liked this book well enough, I suppose. Though they're both something of mavericks in modern evangelical Christianity, Brian McLaren and Tony Campolo do a relatively good job of balancing each other in this book. When McLaren abandons orthodoxy, Campolo pulls him back in. When Campolo gets lost in mysticism, McLaren calls him to a more practical faith.
Both authors know something is missing from the modern Church and do their best to help restore it. A bit too often they miss the point as well.
Oct 04, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spirituality
The authors take turns in this book writing a chapter on specific theological topics, then the other author writes a short reply to the chapter. I found the book to provide a nice historical and balancing view to a laundry list of theological issues. Campolo often comes at topics from more of an evangelical, conservative stance, while McLaren is more liberal and open in his views.

The nice thing about this book is that if you are not interested in certain topics you can skip chapters without mis
Jan 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book includes some of the most controversial and personally challenging topics on Christianity and The Church that are out there. Homosexuality, Doubt, Social Action... It's great to think about and discuss with other believers, strengthening your own beliefs throughout the process. I really like how Brian McLaren and Tony Campolo switch off writing the chapters and then provide opposing commentary from another view. I highly recommend this book for group talks as well as personal reading.
Danny Bennett
Aug 10, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: christian-living
The reality is that there are much better books written on each of the topics in this book. I first read this book in college with a conservative and a liberal. I liked to think I was the moderate view but I am probably more conservative today after reading and interacting with people who know what they are talking about. There are many times I feel like McLaren and Campolo miss the point. The views the two hold are pretty much what you would expect from their emerging church movement, a movemen ...more
Robert Frank
Sep 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is a rare treat. Two creative Christian writers, well known for their mature thinking, share their views about how culture has sometimes caused Christian views to drift away from what they were intended to be. The authors took turns writing the chapters, but at the end of each chapter the other writer added his views. They didn’t always agree with each other, but they courageously raised issues that need to be discussed by mature Christians. We live in a rapidly changing civilization a ...more
Bo Liles
Apr 02, 2007 rated it liked it
I'm moving this book to the read shelf, even though I will openly admit I have not read the entire thing word for word. it is quickly becoming a reference book, which for me means i will pull it off the shelf often and see if the subject matter informs my particular study at the time.

A good book, but I sense a lack of passion. Not that it is not there, but the energy of the authors solo works does not translate here.

A good book, but nothing I haven't heard each man say elsewhere.
Aug 14, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really good book that covers many different topics concerning people and Christians today. Because there are many different issues that they talk about, however, they are not really able to expound on them too much. This does a great job in starting to create a dialogue on these issues rather than simply making them black and white. We would do well to take this approach and open our eyes a little more to understand others.
Aug 22, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: completed
I hav to start off by saying I am NOT a big fan of Brian McClaren, but I enjoy what he writes sometimes, This is worth the read. Brian and Tony (Campolo) hit the major topics and how we miss the point. They tackle evangelism, theology, the Bible, salvation, culture and a myriad of other topics. It is like a point-counterpoint, although sometimes they both agree. Short chapters (topics) that can be picked up anywhere in the book, for all of you non-linear types like me.
Aug 24, 2009 rated it liked it
Great for starting discussions, but at times the authors seemed unwilling to fully commit to an opinion, or seemed to dance around a topic without just jumping in... not sure why they bothered to include those. I found the chapter on homosexuality frustrating and offensive - not at all what I had expected from these particular authors... but again, at least it started a good discussion with the campus ministry group that was reading through the book together!
Mar 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
This is more or less a point-counterpoint between McLaren (who I don't know) and Campolo (of whom I am quite a fan). Basically, one writes an essay on a somewhat controversial Christian topic and the other writes a short agreement/rebuttal. They don't really disagree on much and the topics could have been a tad more daring, but there were definitely a few things brought up that made you think. They get one star at least for the title.
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see also Anthony Campolo

Tony Campolo is professor emeritus of sociology at Eastern University and a former faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania. For 40 years, he led the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education, an organization which he founded to create and support programs serving needy communities. More recently, Dr. Campolo has provided leadership for the progressive

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“He whom I bow to only knows to whom I bow When I attempt the ineffable Name, murmuring Thou… (“Footnote to All Prayers”) Lewis proceeds to acknowledge that when he says the Name of God, his best thoughts are mere fancies and symbols, which he knows “cannot be the thing thou art.” Then with postmodern sensitivity, Lewis ponders the inadequacy of human language and perspective: And all men are idolators, crying unheard To a deaf idol, if Thou take them at their word. Even as we pray, then, we must count on God to take our misguided arrows and magnetize them toward their goal. He concludes: Take not, oh Lord, our literal sense. Lord, in Thy great, Unbroken speech our limping metaphor translate.” 1 likes
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